This is one of Massimo's earliest kaleidoscopes! It's been a popular one here at Remarkable Things for over 20 years. Massimo says he was inspired by the symbols on a copper and brass incense holder, and by the Mantra of Compassion "Om mani padme hum" that is inscribed in Sanskrit around the cover. The mantra is sometimes translated in English as "the Jewel Under the Lotus," hence the name of the kaleidoscope.
With this design, you see a sharp eight-pointed star floating at the end of the kaleidoscope. The tube is long compared to the diameter of the kaleidoscope and the oil chamber is filled with a mixture of glass, crystal, and semi-precious stones, including Amethyst, Aquamarine, Garnet, Citrine, Iolite, Peridot, and Quartz.
The optic system has two mirrors that form a mandala with eight points, just like the lotus flower petals. Also, the number eight refers to the Bodhisattva and the auspicious symbols in Tibetan Buddhism. By meditating on each of the eight points of this mandala, you may achieve a blessed state of balance and harmony. Or you may just want to enjoy the beauty of the mandala and the calming effect of the patterns and colors of gemstones.